Lanka Explorer

Tour Type:
Private Escorted Tours
Start:
Colombo
Duration:
18 Days
End:
Colombo
Departs:
Daily

Starting From

NZ$ 4998
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We call Sri Lanka Paradise and still, people do use the same name to describe the country because of its landscapes, beaches, mountains, food, festivals and its hospitality. This tour not only covers all must-see destinations but also give you an opportunity to explore a few untouched areas. This is designed for those who like to explore more of this wonderful island, visit untouched destinations and experience uniqueness of the county.  

Itinerary

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DAY 1

Arrive at Colombo International Airport. Please clear immigration & visa formalities, collect your baggage and proceed to the arrival lounge through the green channel if you do not have goods to be declared to customs. TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS Executive will page you by your name. Thereafter you will be assisted with a transfer to the hotel in Negombo and stay for two nights at the hotel.

DAY 2

After breakfast enjoy a city tour of Negombo, is a famous yet small fishing town in the coastal strip of Colombo and is close to the Bandaranayke International Airport at Katunayke. The famous fishing village is a must-see where the fishermen bargain and sell fish to various vendors starting from Wholesale retailers to others. Remaining day is free to relax or explore this small but beautiful town.

DAY 3

After breakfast travel to Anuradhapura, and on arrival proceed for city sightseeing tour of Anuradhapura. – a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the north-central part of the Island was the first capital (5th century BC - 9th century AD), the centre of the island's Buddhist civilization and undoubtedly the grandest city of ancient Sri Lanka. In antiquity and the interest, it is the equal of any ancient 'buried city' in the world. The oldest historically documented tree on earth (over 2,200 years old) - The Sri Maha Bodhi, brought as a sampling of the tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment, and the island's oldest Buddhist shrines - some dating back to the 3rd century BC, impressive white 'dagabas' (relic chambers) and monuments embellished with handsome stone carvings or sculpture, pleasure gardens, beautifully executed stone baths and ponds and a superb irrigation system of reservoirs and canals are the main attractions of Anuradhapura. Also, visit Mihintale. Overnight in Anuradhapura.

DAY 4

After morning breakfast travel to Jaffna. Jaffna is the cultural town of the Tamil people of Sri Lanka. Jaffna District, the northernmost region of the Island of Sri Lanka, is one of the oldest habitation sites in Lower South Asia, populated by mostly Tamil speaking people. It is in close proximity to the sub-continent of India and separated from it by the Palk Strait and the Bay of Bengal. The city was important for both Portuguese and Dutch. The Jaffna Fort was completed in 1632 and has a Dutch church inside the fort. Also, Jaffna city is full of Hindu kovils. On arrival check in to the hotel and stay for three nights.

DAY 5

The morning after breakfast, enjoy a city sightseeing tour and visit places like Kandadorai Viharaya, which is remarkable as it depicts the history of more than 2000years. Later move to Dambakola Patuna. Afternoon visit the Keeramallai holy bath ponds, where peoples believe that these ponds have the holy water to cure diseases. Return to hotel for overnight stay.

DAY 6

This morning visit Nallur Kovil which is one of the holiest places for Hindus. Later proceed to point Pedro a famous place in northern Sri Lanka. It’s the most northern place in Sri Lanka. Also, we visit the Jaffna library which is used to be one of the biggest libraries in Asia. Later return to the hotel for overnight stay.

DAY 7

After your breakfast travel towards Habarana. Afternoon visit Dambulla Cave Temple, the remainder of the day is free to relax. Stay three nights at the hotel.

DAY 8

Driving the short distance from Dambulla this morning, you’ll have the opportunity to climb to the summit of Sigiriya’s famous Lion Rock using a series of steps and walkways which zig-zag their way up the seemingly impenetrable rock cliffs. The site was occupied long before the citadel was built at the end of the 5th century, and it later became a monastery before falling into disrepair. From the base, a moat surrounds impressive water gardens of landscaped beauty. To reach the summit, you’ll ascend 200m, passing an overhanging rock under which superb portraits of native maidens holding flowers and temple offerings still adorn the rock wall. Crowning the flat-topped summit of the rock are the extensive remains of King Kasyapa’s summer palace from where there are breathtaking views. Evening free to explore.

DAY 9

After breakfast travel to ancient city of Polonnaruwa, which remains one of the best planned archeological relic sites in the country, a standing testimony to the discipline and greatness of the Kingdom's first rulers. The ancient city of Polonnaruwa has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Also, proceed for a wildlife safari at Minneriya National Park. The Park is based largely around a huge tank (reservoir) and serves as an important gathering place for Sri Lanka’s large elephant population. Besides elephants, Minneriya is also home to many species of mammals; like the deer, sambur and sloth bear.

DAY 10

After your breakfast travel to Kandy. En-route visit the spice plantation at Matale. On arrival in Kandy check in to the hotel and stay for two nights at the hotel.

DAY 11

In the morning after breakfast explore the town and visit Temple of the Tooth Relic, which houses the Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. The Tooth is kept in a two-storey shrine fronted by two large elephant tusks and rests on a gold lotus flower, encased in a jewelled casket that sits on a throne. The temple is decorated with beautiful local paintings and architectural features. Visit the Gem Museum and local bazaar in the afternoon. Evening enjoys upper Lake drive and watch a cultural dance show before finishing your day. Overnight stay at the hotel.

DAY 12

After breakfast at the hotel, drive out to Peradeniya Botanical Garden. This 147-acre garden was first built as a pleasure garden by a Sinhala king and was later expanded by the British. It offers an amazing variety of trees, plants, and flowers. Return to Kandy the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and listed as another UNESCO world heritage site. The name “Kandy” conjures visions of splendour and magnificence. Many of the legends, traditions, and folklore are still lovingly kept alive. Later drive towards Nuwara Eliya - is a mountain station at 1,868 m (6,128 ft) of altitude, in a splendid landscape. The city pretends to be particularly well-kept and neat, and the always green grass gives to the locality an aspect of “colonial British style". The town was built entirely during the 19th century and its architecture mimics that of an English country town, with red-brick walls, country house like hill club and mock-Tudor half-timbering. Stay two nights at the hotel.

DAY 13

Enjoying an Early breakfast leave to experience the art of Tea Plucking and Blending; to join the early crowd of tea pluckers. The plucking time of the tea leaves plays a crucial role when creating the finest teas. The leaves should be plucked before sunrise when the natural fragrance is at its peak. After a brief introduction on the technique of tea plucking you will provided with the local attire and a basket to collect your share of leaves within two hours and then proceed towards the tea factory to learn about the process and blending of tea. It starts with the selection of the tea leaves from your basket rejecting any leaves that are unsuitable hence you must pay attention when picking or all your efforts will be in vain! The factory manager will then take you on a tour of the mini Tea Factory and explain the whole process, from the initial drying (withering) of the leaves, through rolling, fermenting and shifting to produce the different types of tea. Overnight stay at the hotel.

DAY 14

After your breakfast enjoy a scenic drive to Yala. On arrival after a bit of relaxing, evening visit Kataragama, According to legendary history Ruhunu Kataragama Maha Devalaya (at right) was built by King Dutugemunu around 160 years B.C. in fulfilment of a vow to defeat King Elara in battle. It was endowed with a large extent of land by King Dutugemunu for its maintenance and subsequent monarchs did likewise. The 'building is a simple structure of two apartments and with no embellishments or show of grandeur. It has not undergone any major structural alterations, during this long period of over 2,000 years since its construction. Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 15

After breakfast, Engage in a morning jeep safari to Yala National Park. Yala – Sri Lanka’s most known National Park is popular for Elephant, Leopard, Bear, Crocodile and Wild Boar. 97,800 hectares in extent, this is the second largest of Sri Lanka’s National Parks. Its open undulating terrain made it famous for elephants for many years, but recently the park has also received much fame through publicity by National Geographic and the Discovery TV channels, which focused on a leopard research/conservation and identification project. Claims have subsequently been made that Yala National Park has the world’s highest concentration of leopard per square kilometre. Vegetation is primarily grassland and shrub jungle with patches of dense growth while several salt and freshwater lagoons are a haven for a large variety of resident and migrant birds. Areas popular with leopard are rock strewn hillocks with dense shrub in which the animals hide. Later check out from the hotel and travel towards Galle – said to be the famous Tarshish of the Bible where King Solomon obtained gems and spices, this “Living” UNESCO World Heritage Site is the port where the Portuguese first landed in Sri Lanka in 1505. Captured and fortified by the Dutch who ruled maritime Sri Lanka in the 17th and 18th centuries, the city still retains the air of old Holland. Within the well preserved 90 acre fort and ramparts built-in 1663 is Old Dutch churches and monuments with armorial bearings, an imposing crested and monogrammed gateway dated 1669, many wells preserved Old Dutch houses and narrow alleys still bearing Dutch names. Overnight stay at the hotel.

DAY 16

After breakfast, enjoy the sightseeing tour of Galle Fort. The remainder of the day is free at your own. Overnight in Galle.

DAY 17

After breakfast transfer to Colombo en-route visit Ambalangoda which is famous for handmade Masks. Mask making is a tradition in Sri Lanka and the finished masks are used in festivals, to decorate the houses and for dance performances. Ariyapala & Sons is a company which is the main mask makers in the area which runs a large showroom, workshop and a mask museum which are favourites to the tourists travelling to Sri Lanka. Later proceed towards Colombo, on arrival check-in at the hotel and later enjoy Colombo city tour. The commercial, industrial and cultural capital of Sri Lanka, it is also the economic and political hub. The city offers historical monuments, colonial architecture, festivals and events, beaches, fine dining, shopping & nightlife. Overnight stay at the hotel.

DAY 18

After leisurely breakfast transfer to Colombo International airport to board onward flight back home.

Inclusion


Hotel accommodation with private facilities

Private air-conditioned car with driver-guide

Meals as specified

Entrance fees and tickets

02 Jeep safari at National Park

Ferry Ride in Jaffna

Assistance and transfers

All current collectable taxes

Exclusion


International Airfares

Any meals other than specified, drinks, laundry, mineral water, telephone calls, postage

Camera and Video entry charges at Monuments/Forts etc

Train or domestic airfares excluding those mentioned in includes column

Optional tour and meals unless otherwise mentioned in the includes column

Visa & passport fees

Travel insurance of any kind

Tips and gratuities

Extra baggage charges

Early check-in or late checkout.

Entry Visa Fees, please visit www.eta.gov.lk for more details / submit your individual visa application.